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Joanne D’Mello, soprano will be performing at a recital organized by ProMusica and Fundação Oriente at the Kala Academy on 2 August 2013 at 6.30 pm. She spoke to the Navhind Times about the concert, her career and more.

Welcome back to Goa, Joanne! How does it feel to be here once again?

I am thrilled to be back and this time performing with a fellow Goan (Andrea Fernandes, piano)! I have been really excited about forming this duo and presenting repertoire that we both love. It is so important for a singer to work with a sympathetic pianist. And I believe I have found a kindred spirit in Andrea. We understand each other well and this makes for a very good partnership!

Tell us a little more about your concert at the Kala Academy on 2 August 2013.

The concert will contain a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Hugo Wolf and Schumann to Mozart, Liszt and Bellini. I have structured the programmed to be a sort of monologue opera. I did not want it to be a typical recital for a change. I will use the songs in the context of the story I have created. The songs are in Italian, German, French and Czech and their texts deliver the story line.

How different are you as a musician today, compared to when you left Goa?

I have been so privileged to hear some of the most incredible musicians in the world during my studies in London. Being exposed to performances of such a high level is very inspiring and really helps train the ear. It is so important to listen to music performed at a good level as this shapes your hearing and consequently influences the way you perform.

Do you have any advice for our youth and aspiring musicians here?

Listen to lots of music, through Youtube, Spotify, internet radio and other sources. I know CDs are expensive, but today everything is available online and so easily accessible. Get hold of music scores and read them while listening to the music. Play in ensembles, and sight-read tonnes of music. This is the best way to develop your musicianship. Playing with other musicians improves your listening abilities and your musical sensitivity. It’s a super healthy exercise.

How do you think we in Goa could improve our infrastructure for classical music?

A good library of scores is very essential. These need to be made easily accessible to students and they should be encouraged to read as many scores as possible. It is wonderful when teachers encourage and supervise ensemble work. All students should play in little orchestras and sing in choirs. It’s the best training for aspiring musicians.

The Giving Voice to India course by my teacher Patricia Rozario is a laudable initiative and I can’t recommend it highly enough to aspiring singers. It will definitely change things for the better where vocal training in Goa is concerned.

What are your future plans? Where do you go from here?

I have been invited to sing for Europalia. This is a major international arts festival held every two years to celebrate one invited country’s cultural heritage. This year it focuses on India. I will collaborate with a Spanish pianist and an Italian percussionist to showcase music from Goa and other parts of India.

I am moving to Germany in September to do a Master degree at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschule in Leipzig- home of Bach and Mendelssohn. I am looking forward to this new chapter in my musical journey!

(Donation passes are available at Furtados Music stores in Panjim and Margao)


(An edited version of this article appeared in the Navhind Times Goa India on 30 July 2013)